Reviewer:Dennis D Shaw -
May 4, 2011 Subject:
A 1949 Cooking Show/Infomercial. A Gem!
This is what people watched in post-WWII 1949. This short TV program (probably a half hour with commercials), profiled the values and roles of the day: The homemaker wife struggling to make nutritious, appetizing meals on a limited budget. She was apparently concerned with table settings (matching pattern china on a linen tablecloth, complete with coordinated centerpiece), having at least three courses to the meal, and everybody using their best table manners (including baby drinking milk from an open glass). I spotted two pre-fame actors: Dick York (later known for his role as Darrin Stephens on Bewitched) as the rambunctious teenager Johnny, and Hope Summers (later known for her role as Aunt Bea's close friend Clara Edwards on The Andy Griffith Show) as the homemaker requesting help with a pie recipe. The video is in very good condition, considering its age. It probably started airing in 1949. The kitchen appliances are state-of-the-art for the day. This TV program was the kind of infomercial shown during that time. The whole program was a plug for Beatrice Foods Company.
October 4, 2005 Subject:
So many meal to make!
How about giving Mom a break and eating out once in a while! In today's world, a lot of women work and have less time. Now we have more short cuts in preparing foods, more efficent tools, and enough take outs, drive ins, and restaurants to make life easier.
Reviewer:Christine Hennig -
July 14, 2004 Subject:
A Filmed Recipe Booklet from Beatrice Foods
Ah, now this is the kind of film I loveÂÂa cheesy housewife film hawking food products! This film, sponsored by Beatrice Foods, showcases the Beatrice Foods Test Kitchen, which is just like an ordinary 50s kitchen, except it contains a laboratory any mad scientist would be proud of and the women in it get paid to cook. However, in all other ways it tries to be as much like a home kitchen as possible, right down to having Dick York around to be the requisite teenage boy with an appetite like an entire army, who spends his time stealing freshly-baked cookies, crashing the clubwomenÂs test luncheon after heÂs already eaten a full meal at the workingmenÂs test dinner, and hitting up on any teenage daughters the clubwomen drag along to the luncheon. This is really like a filmed recipe booklet (another obsession of mine), containing disgusting-looking meals, Jell-O molds, a housewife in an all-metal 50s kitchen, dinette sets and dishes that fetch high prices on ebay nowadays, and, since its sponsored by Beatrice, an insistence that as many dairy products as possible be served every day. To top it off, thereÂs a whole section on ice cream desserts at the end, which tipped the star rating to 5 for me, since ice cream is my favorite food. And thereÂs an incredibly cheesy organ soundtrack. Plus the film is very very mstable. Viewers with tastes different from my own may not like this film as much, but for me, it has everything.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: *****.
April 19, 2004 Subject:
Corporate America in Your Kitchen
An early fifties trip to the kitchens of the Beatrice Food Corporation where we watch home economists a test kitchen baking recipes using dairy products to benefit a hypothetical Mrs. Jones. SheÂs your typical housewife wondering what to cook for dinner day after day. With the aid of a large calendar, weÂre told that the average housewife cooks 1,095 meals a year. ÂWow!Â says a teenage boy, ÂthatÂs a lot of meals!Â Has it occurred to him that Mom might want to go out to dinner once in a while? We then go to the test kitchen where we see a group of women dressed in white making the tasteless concoctions of the time. One meal features creamed cottage cheese on lime jell-o with diced pineapple and watercress garnished with radish roses and carrot flowers. This is served with Creamed Eggs Supreme spooned over chow mein noodles. For dessert, thereÂs always Double Strawberry Shortcake and Baked Alaska. As in many of the Archive films, itÂs always striking how much smaller food portions were then. No wonder there isnÂt a single fat person in the film, even though they used rich, high fat ingredients. Kay, a young woman who is the filmÂs narrator-guide (thereÂs also a jovial male voice-over) tells the viewers that Âour kitchen is your kitchen.Â Food corporations like Beatrice, touting Âfood chemistry and the economics of foodÂ monotonized American food and made postwar housewives feel they were inadequate and in need of expert, outside advice. The women in the test kitchen are interesting figures. TheyÂre dressed in white, like nurses or pseudo-scientists. They cook hundreds of meals, but unlike the housewife, they get paid for it. We end the film with the Jones family at the dinner table. ÂWhatÂs on the menu tonight?Â Hot cottage cheese and cinnamon apple salad, pork chops, baked potatoes with butter, creamed broccoli and cherry cobbler with whipped cream for dessert. In the end, Mrs. Jones is a lonely figure. SheÂs obviously a decent cook but, unlike the home economists at Beatrice, it doesnÂt lead to recognition or appreciation outside her home. The family sits around the dinner table stiffly saying grace. The narrator gives thanks to the farmers, food processors and the American transportation system.
September 4, 2003 Subject:
Mmmm! Eggs Supreme!
Very nice looking film which details how you can get along better in your kitchen.. or something. This film is VERY broad in scope, and led me to believe that the Beatrice Food Corperation had a stranglehold on the American housewife in the 1950's. Use DAIRY products, they scream! We'll make recipes! We'll ask social clubs to try them out for you! We'll design awful place settings! We'll design the most horrendous wallpaper for you and your kitchen! Terribly silly, it's reccomended!